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'Old-school brokers' an opportunity for LifeDirect: Trade Me

“Tactical calls” have harmed LifeDirect but Trade Me is not giving up on the insurance platform, the group’s chief executive says.

Tuesday, February 28th 2017, 10:45PM 1 Comment

by Susan Edmunds

In reporting its first-half profit this month, the online auction website reported a year-on-year decline in revenue of 11.3% for LifeDirect, caused by a drop in traffic.

LifeDirect allows consumers to compare quotes from insurers including AIA, AMP, Asteron Life, Cigna, Fidleity Life, OnePath, Partners Life and Sovereign online. It covers life, health, income protection, mortgage and funeral insurance.

Trade Me chief executive Jon Macdonald said the company had grown LifeDirect “very well” since it was acquired in 2013.

“Then, we made a couple of tactical calls that I believe were the right for Trade Me overall, but harmed LifeDirect in terms of directing our audience more back towards our core businesses and our Marketplace and our Classifieds,” he said.

There had since been a rebuild of the platform, which had delivered an improvement in sales volumes and new leadership was in place to better leverage Trade Me’s audience.

“We're certainly not giving up on that business, and as we've been increasingly happy and confident with the strength we've grown in that core, we're looking to tune that back a bit, such that we give LifeDirect more oxygen and therefore restore that business back to growth," he said.

"We still think the long-term opportunity that sits there is as strong as ever, and so that long-term opportunity is where there's this massive market, being the consumption of life and health insurance. It's still fundamentally and efficiently addressed, often through old-school brokers. And so, we're really just looking to get that business back on the track that it originally was, to properly fulfill that long-term potential.”

Tags: Life insurance

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Comments from our readers

On 3 March 2017 at 2:33 pm Cyril said:
Yes there is a place for no advice providers. The great news is that the size of this market is in the "brokers/advisers" hands.
To every broker/adviser I ask?-what specifically have you done in the last 24 months to reduce the chance of your clients moving to Life Direct or someone like them. If your answer cheaper premiums or better wording I wonder if this is worth sharing. If you have done something else why not share it with us all via say Good Returns, Russell Hutchinson or David Greenslade. Then all of us in the "Broker/Adviser" adviser market can work together to ensure their is always a " Broker/Adviser " market that gives advice, builds relationships face to face. We could even do claims face to face?
If we lose clients and prospects to the direct or bank who has the problem? Ask your self what am I doing to protect my business, my base, my prospects?
I love Brokers.

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